"Fire is motion / Work is repetition / This is my document / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all defenses."

- Cap'N Jazz, "Oh Messy Life," Analphabetapolothology

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

too much of a good thing

i love soft, squishy things. i love pillows!

i sleep with many pillows, stacked up high and wedged into corners, pillows cushioning every possible hard spot, every vulnerable piece of furniture that i may potentially whack my head on in the stupor of sleep, spooning pillows, pillows on top of pillows.

but lately i've developed a slight fear of the sharp pointy ends of feathers, those that stuff my pillows and are molting all over my everywhere. i feel them poking me in the face, see the pointy tips poking out thru the pillowcase, see them sticking up from the carpet, menacing, threatening to poke me in the eye while i sleep and scratch my corneas.

this is such a depressing development in my growing neuroses, since i so relish burying my face in a nice soft pillow before i sleep...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

mortal weakness

the sound of cardboard scraping against itself makes me violently uncomfortable.

something about the dryness of the sound makes me squirm and wince with visible physical discomfort, as if my body had just been covered in scales and someone was rubbing them the wrong way with sandpaper.

i feel it in my left ear too, as if a bubble had filled up with water inside and sonar was being pulsed thru to my eardrum, a million vibrations threatening to pop and flood my ear with this menacing sound, my human equivalent to what i imagine a dog whistle's effects are on canines.

this makes christmases and birthdays and other celebrations that occasion giftwrap potentially dangerous. i must exercise delicate caution when folding paper or assembling gift boxes. paper products, when rubbed together, create a sound that is hardly a sound, mostly a sensation, and from which ear plugs or other devices provide no protection.

this debilitating idiosyncracy has prevented me from entering an otherwise promising career in paper arts, or the decorative giftwrapping sciences.

instead, i teach special ed in South Central, and encounter my mortal weakness when opening mail, unwrapping packages, opening boxes of cereal.


edit: apparently, i'm not alone. at least matt "l.o." l. agrees that this sound "makes him want to die." but other ppl seem to love that sound. there must be a name for this neurosis?

Saturday, March 28, 2009


i taught my students how to write haikus this week:

my dog is big and
my chewawa [sic] is smart cool
it can dance.

dogs elephant cats
i have a german shepard
i like all my dogs.

if Mississippi
gave Missuri [sic] a New Jersey
what did Delaware?

Ms. Aguayo and
Ms. Lee are friends and they both
nice and cool both teach

sweet vanilla ice cream is good.
food: chocolate chip cookie.
hungry, eat candy.

do the test do
your best or guest [sic]
on the lousey [sic] test

asteroid hit earth
a temperture [sic] was rising
the ground was glowing.

army bombs people
people shop at a walmart
i go to the beach.

i bet you didn't know i taught beatnik poets, did you?

Friday, March 27, 2009

terror cells

we had a lockdown yesterday, not because of violence on the perimeter of the school, but because of student revolt on campus. that's right. we had a lockdown to protect us from the students.

apparently, a group of students started a riot during lunch and the security and administrative staff had to do everything short of hosing them down to keep them from climbing the fences.

later, during class change, approximately 100 students organized a "runout" / managed to escape school en masse. the teachers were then quickly ordered to go on lockdown mode, to keep the students in their classes.

it happened again today. the lock-in, that is. rumors of a second escape attempt were spreading thru the student body, and the administration pre-empted it by cancelling 6th period, trapping all students (and teachers) in their 5th periods. no one was allowed in the hallways until the end of the school day, at which point everyone was forced out. after school programs were cancelled, students were ordered to leave campus by 3:15.

teachers talked after school about being attacked: the stampede of students that knocked over one teacher, while students attacked another teacher with paper airplanes. one woman showed me her neck, pierced by a paper arrow, swollen and bleeding. the administration expressed concern for trampling, justifying the use of mace on a crowd of middle schoolers.

when the staff pass each other in the parking lot, we try to understand the students' actions. some wondered if they were trying to protest something, maybe the teacher layoffs, a modern middle school version of a walkout. some found the new food policy a more convincing motive ("you can give them a dress code or lengthen their school day, but don't take away their food! that makes them angry!")

the week's events have sent the school into chaos. no one understands the actions or the motives. they are erratic, unpredictable, and because they seem to have no direction or purpose, the school is at a loss as to how to stop or prevent them, other than physical force or coercion, bribery.

at an assembly, administrators threaten arrests and fines, more mace, expulsion. they use dramatic phrases, "we will find you," "we will keep you safe at all costs," "if you want something changed, write a letter to President Obama." they try to explain how things are gonna go, "you are the students. we are in control," while the auditorium buzzes with energy and rebellion, and the occasional "f*** you!" the students are experimenting with their newfound power, unpredictability and sheer numbers, and in the hallway 5 administrators from the district, with badges hanging around their necks, stand with their hands behind their backs, ready to body slam any children who try to get past them to the exits.

while the comparison has always been obvious, this week's events have stretched experience past mere analogy. the school is a zoo, class changes a running of the bulls, the school is a prison, and the inmates are running the asylum.

all this makes me wonder if there are little terror cells of students plotting their next actions. i wonder if there is a Gitmo equivalent hidden somewhere on this campus. perhaps the elementary school we annexed? i wonder if there will be Patriot Acts and wire-tapping. already i see the parallels: backpack searches in the mornings before entering school, randomly pulling students from classes for questioning. today we were on "High Alert." is that the orange or red threat level?

welcome to the monkey house,

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

proposition: blogging as life preserver

i've had a lot of conversations lately in which my motives for blogging were called into question. and though i find it hard, usually, to think so metacognitively about the reasons for my writing, i realized today that it's a tree in the forest kinda thing.

if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, did it make a sound?

i remembered this post i wrote in the beginning of my foray into blogging, and how i was thinking about death and the ability of the internet to preserve experience and writing.

this digital age is a mausoleum, which is a word i love, because it sounds like what it means: "death museum." we produce so many artifacts of our lives, but at the same time these artifacts exist mostly in the ether. we write emails, dozens a day, these all go into mailboxes, each of us with mailboxes thousands of emails full. there's a permanence but also an invisibility to this kind of production. while it exists and accumulates, it so easily disappears. someone dies, their email address and inbox goes with them. all those MB's of virtual space and productivity and creation lost, irrecoverable. and here, i hesitate again, because this virtual medium has the capacity to recover and revive, just as easily as it can be erased.

i want to remember things clearly, i don't want things to fade!

the wonderful thing about this is that digital technologies are allowing us to preserve little mummies of ourselves all over the interwebs (which sounds kind of gross, but admit it, you're fascinated!) snapshots of life and moments. and the complexities and details of our lives will read, in retrospect, so much clearer than any other materials of the past or present. just as the clarity with which we see things has improved with the emergence of digital imaging and hi-res photography, our understanding of the past will be significantly clearer because of the details we are writing now. we are constantly writing and re-writing our own autobiographies, from the moment we self-publish.

and isn't that such a beautiful thing?


(written sunday, 3.22.09, 9pm PST)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

first signs of spring

portents of spring:
-tulip blooms
-shorter hemlines
-longer days
-insane animals
-the re-appearance of matzos on the grocery store shelves!

the latter is the one i am currently most excited about, as matzos is the true harbinger of better times!

for with matzos comes gefilte fish, served with bitter herbs and horse radish, and that always makes me thirsty for sweet sweet kosher wine.

before long, i am flat on my back, drunk and remembering kosher dinners at my friends Will and Laura's house, weeping with nostalgia and homesickness between bouts of food coma.

i should perhaps feel guilty that i'm taking all the joys of jewish cuisine, without any of the religious experience, but i have to say from past experience that the food itself is a religious experience, so...


Saturday, March 21, 2009

dancing in the dark

i've said it before, and i'll continue to say it again: i love The Boss.

nothing encapsulates the complexity of being born in america in the 1980s like Springsteen and synthesizer, and i mean this in earnest. while the musical and cultural products of the '80s as a whole would seem to have tainted history's perception of the decade, what with the proliferation of horrible one-hit wonders and abusive overuse of the moog, The Boss remains the 80s' single greatest gift to American music. and what's more, he's the gift that keeps on giving (thank you!)

that's because there is a permanence to Springsteen's music that defied the limits of 1980s materialism and spectacle (the same values American Psycho critiques in this scene). while '80s hair bands and rock groups found short-lived success by cannibalizing tried and true guitar riffs and appealing to a brief moment's gaudy aesthetics and conventions, Springsteen wrote epic stories about human suffering and loneliness, about working night shifts in steel factories, driving thru abandoned city streets, love, desperation, the hunger and hope for a better life. in short, the american dream and the american way of life.

and though Springsteen's staunchly american aesthetic can be a deterrent to some (my boyfriend once described it as "jingoistic"), it is precisely the way in which he represents America that i find seductive. he sings of heroes doomed to Sysiphean fates, working low wage jobs and searching for escape. unlike the ass-kicking beer-swigging mythos of modern country music, Springsteen's music is complex, genuine, underscored with hardship and persistence. while the former are simulacra, Springsteen's America possesses a history of emotion and suffering. yet, there is a gloomy/gritty hopefulness – despite feeling so defeated, there remains release and splendor, in a midnight drive, in a passionate embrace, in that guitar, in that harmonica, in a dance in the dark.

this is an America i can identify with and feel proud of, one that struggles to overcome disillusionment, but struggles unflichingly.


to put it in other terms: i rediscovered the album Born in the USA this weekend, 2+ decades after its initial release. i was reluctant to listen to it, not knowing if the music would translate well over the expanse of time. i worried that the synthesizers would make me cringe. but this is perhaps a fitting example of the complexity i'm talking about, that the same music revisited not only revealed layers, but became more beautiful because of its history coupled with my experience. the synthesizers not only go unnoticed, but sound like organs. they're an artifact of the zeitgeist of the 80s, but not a distractor from the permanence of the music.

i used to listen to Bruce Springsteen in the car with my mom on the weekends. his music would come on the radio and i would sing along to words whose sentiments i didn't fully understand. back then, i only understood them as a widely experienced "happy" feeling, the same excitement as a surprise trip to get ice cream, or a snow day.

as a young girl growing up, watching the "Dancing in the Dark" video would make me so terribly happy that the only logical impulse was to dance uncontrollably in the living room of our suburban house, flailing arms and kicking my legs, pretending to snap, shaking my hair. to be honest, i still do that. Courteney Cox was a real-life hero as far as i was concerned, b/c she had the balls to get up on stage and dance with The Boss. i wanted to be her. i mean, who didn't?

but i feel even more elated watching this video today, myself now a grown woman, as i listen to the lyrics, which speak to me in ways i couldn't have understood them before:

I get up in the evening
and I ain't got nothing to say
I come home in the morning
I go to bed feeling the same way
I ain't nothing but tired
Man I'm just tired and bored with myself
Hey there baby, I could use just a little help


Message keeps getting clearer
radio's on and I'm moving 'round the place
I check my look in the mirror
I wanna change my clothes, my hair, my face
Man I ain't getting nowhere
I'm just living in a dump like this
There's something happening somewhere
baby I just know that there is


You sit around getting older
there's a joke here somewhere and it's on me
I'll shake this world off my shoulders
come on baby this laugh's on me

Stay on the streets of this town
and they'll be carving you up alright
They say you gotta stay hungry
hey baby I'm just about starving tonight
I'm dying for some action
I'm sick of sitting 'round here trying to write this book
I need a love reaction
come on now baby gimme just one look

You can't start a fire sitting 'round crying over a broken heart
This gun's for hire
Even if we're just dancing in the dark
You can't start a fire worrying about your little world falling apart
This gun's for hire
Even if we're just dancing in the dark
there's a restlessness i can identify with here, as i sit in my apartment in LA, wondering how i got so caught up with my job, feeling old, wondering where the excitement went in my life. i'm tired of sitting around getting older, trying to write this book, i'm tired of having nothing to say, and worrying about my little world falling apart. i ain't nothing but tired, i'm just tired and bored with myself. i'm dying for some action, i want to dance, i want a little spark.

and this is why i love Bruce Springsteen. there is endurance in his music that never fails to make me happy. i listen to his music now and understand, completely, why every man, woman and child growing up in america for the last few decades has been absolutely seduced by his dream of america.


to help make my case:
"I'm On Fire" [mp3]
"Thunder Road" [mp3 - how can you not fall in love with that harmonica solo?]
"Thunder Road (Live in 1999)" [mp3]

+ a fellow blogger's analysis of Springsteen's music and a comparison to the Stones.

+ Bruce Springsteen's website, with lyrics and audio clips.

Friday, March 20, 2009

spirit animals

i dreamt last night that my boyfriend came home from Turkey to live with me in New York City (i think Brooklyn, but i really can't be sure) but had a terrible accident or illness and died, and the rest of the dream i was searching for ways to bring him back to life, while working a street-side fruit stand outside a bakery. one day i observed a wild ferret caught outside the bakery and a wise, dreadlocked and snaggle-toothed homeless man with burnt rust skin philosophized that animals, unlike humans, know when death is imminent, and surrender to fate without much thought for other alternatives. they do not worry about the outcomes of their souls because they know they will return again.

i think the ferret was my boyfriend. i like to think we could return from the dead, reincarnated as our spirit animals.


the funny thing is that growing up, my mom continually refused to allow me a pet. she claimed to be afraid of dogs and allergic to cats, and anything much smaller didn't interest me. the only animal she ever considered adopting was a ferret. i have memories of going to the pet store every weekend and picking out hypothetical ferrets to take home: "this one's feisty... this one's sleepy... this one stinks..."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


i really really really like reading blogs written by ppl i know. far more than i like reading the news, or comics, novels (b/c i don't have time for that any more), or watching tv (unless it's the Daily Show, b/c everyone knows Jon Stewart is my elvis), and yes, sometimes, even more than i like keeping up with email.

i like being reminded what amazing, adventurous, creative, and brilliant friends i have. and i like reading beautiful and honest words. something about the openness and self-reflection necessary to keeping a blog, as opposed to the informality and privacy of email, makes it seem more beautiful and honest.

email can become mundane b/c of its regularity, its connection to work, and careless b/c of its ease of use. you can read, delete, move on, or even ignore, but there's a delicate vulnerable permanence to blogging that makes it seem more elevated, hyper-real, a more lustrous form of ordinary life.

i don't know if i'm exaggerating or making too much of a little thought. i just know that nothing makes me more excited than reading something written by a friend, even if it's not intended specifically for me. in fact, the anonymity of my readership makes the experience so much more fascinating! how could they know, in their general reflection, that they could appeal so specifically to a feeling i'm also experiencing! this seems the true test of our mutual humanity and understanding, if from miles and time zones away, you are still able to share experiences as if you'd never parted ways to begin with.

i guess i'm saying i would really love it if my friends wrote more, or if i had more friends' blogs to read, b/c i am just so hungry for that good stuff!


on another note, today was such a surprisingly unproductive day. i took a sick day b/c i just couldn't find the resolve to get thru traffic and schlep my way into work this morning, even though i woke up, brushed my teeth and everything. somehow the act of finding an outfit to wear was just too exhausting and i didn't get farther than putting a shirt on. eating a hearty breakfast, too, seemed like more effort than it was worth. i stayed in and tried to make headway on some grad school work, paperwork, and lesson plans, but i got tired out from thinking about the remaining weeks of school, that by the time it was 2 pm (6th period at school) i passed out in bed again, sleeping thru the afternoon and waking up disoriented, confused, and feeling like a bum.

my body and mind are so tired, i don't think i can make it another 2 weeks before spring break. i need this trip home so bad, i've never felt such hunger pangs for home in my entire life. i think it will take physical force on my parents' part to get me to come back to LA, there seems to be so little here to hold my attention.

i can't believe that a year ago, this time, i was in college, and having fun on weekends. i miss the communal life i had in college, and i think it's a shame you can't find communal living like that beyond the college experience. things like that should have continuity beyond 4 years of young adulthood.


i just listened to some of Dr. Dog's "We All Belong." something about that album reminds me of May 2008. i had images of sitting on the floor of my boyfriend's living room, sawing away at a book press in the late night, taking a break to drive to walmart to buy a wrench. the feeling of brief freedom and contentment, to have only one determination ("must finish binding this book") and be able to devote my time and energy to it completely, i miss that feeling.


Sunday, March 15, 2009


in combination with observation, experience has led me to conclude the following about human adolescent semantics:

"cute" - used by boys to describe girls who are playful, funny, sporty, tomboyish. what a women's magazine would replace with the word "gamine."

"beautiful" - used by men to describe a woman whose beauty they admire, someone sophisticated and perfect, but in a sexless way. the perfection is more suited for looking than touching.

"sexy" - interestingly, the least descriptive of the three, a vague combination of beautiful and cute, but in a way that consumes the sexual imagination. usu. thrown out in the throes of passion, when mental capacity lacks imagination or energy for better suited descriptors ("captivating," "sultry," "muy caliente" etc.)

"gorgeous" - a word used almost solely by women, and reserved for describing architecture, landscapes, design details, or exotic birds.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

cheer tactic

1. find comfort music/ nostalgia music/ Arcade Fire, Funeral music.

2. turn up bass, turn up volume.

3. brush hair into face.

4. hop in place to music until a smile overtakes yr face.

5. repeat as needed.




Friday, March 13, 2009

silver lining

the one positive thing about being so extraordinarily far away from some ppl is that when i really really want to be alone, all i have to do is shut the door, and close the computer.

shutting out, shutting down, and disconnecting.

amazing how you thought you knew some ppl, and then they surprise you so completely, and think nothing of it.

i think i will, against my better efforts, always be a misanthrope by trade and hobby.


Thursday, March 12, 2009


n. definition: having exciting things to talk about, or exciting activities or adventures in mind, having a good hair day, etc. but the only people around to appreciate it are obnoxious eleven and twelve year-olds.

example of use: my life as a 6th grade teacher has become increasingly tragic.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

bag lunch

one aspect of my daily routine that i despise, and perhaps more than i really should, is packing my lunch.

i don't know how eating became such a taxing and boring task. make the sandwich. bag the carrots. wash the apple. pack a snack. pour water into thermos. repeat.

one thing i'm looking forward to about cohabitation with my love next year is the possibility and potential of breathing excitement into currently mundane tasks. lunchtime could be an activity, rather than a chore: making each other lunches, writing notes to slip in with the carrots, swapping apples for dragonfruit.

i imagine a dozen different domestic situations that i want to change next year and i am so, so ready.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

squirrel nuts

the aforementioned squirrel encounter.

squirrel nuts from stephan!e lee on Vimeo.

Monday, March 09, 2009

animal encounters

i don't know what it is about today, but i'm having all sorts of wild encounters with nature. maybe it's the change of time; humans and animals are crossing paths in ways we shouldn't b/c of mass confusion. too many creatures scurrying about their business on overlapped schedules...

as i was leaving the school parking lot, two large crows were hopping the fence around the cars, snapping at each other and using their beaks to pluck at a tangled yard of police tape.

at grad school, in a lecture hall after library hours, i encounter a cantankerous squirrel who apparently decided grading papers was a far less interesting use of time than running around between rows of seats and fending off rabies with a 5 foot metal pole. (video forthcoming...)

after returning home, finally, i am stalked to my apartment door by a large feral cat/ possum who shines her electric eyes at me before jumping off the banister. whoa!

and then there's the post-adolescent male humanoid, lumbering out from his cavernous dwelling to forage for food. he scratches himself, squinting in the kitchen light, and, lacking the necessary implements (pot and spoon), resorts to its typical diet: microwaveable hotdogs and white bread. food he can hold in his hands. behold, the urban male.

fascinating discoveries in this jungle!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

time lost

if nostalgia is the experience of concentrated regret for lost time, as i wrote previously, then cosmic irony is the experience of feeling sore from being victimized or mocked by the world and circumstances.

as i was up late musing about time, i failed to realize that today was the beginning of daylight savings time, which meant i lost an hour. what turned out to be an already late morning turned into an early afternoon. curses! just as the mornings were beginning to look so beautiful.

i am doomed to be perpetually maladjusted.

i'm listening to Band of Horses' first album on repeat. the songs always make me think of sophomore year in college, springtime, and my room in Peabody, lying on my back on a carpeted floor with friends, and late nights that turn to early mornings. Oxford is really bewitching in the early hours just before sunrise. i'd like to go back there, but being back physically wouldn't be enough. it'd have to be a metaphysical transportation. a time machine would have to be involved. oh well. for now, listening to Band of Horses is enough.

this album also makes me think of the summer i spent in chicago. i listened to the songs "St. Augustine" and "Monsters" every night before going to sleep. i still sometimes do. i listened to it then for the same reason i do now, to quiet homesickness and have something familiar.

certain albums have a way of shaping and preserving our experiences. i think this phenomenon is unique to our digital media generation; we have had the luxury of constant play, constant access, and ease of repeat. we are self-sufficient in building our own soundtracks.

i think an important skill to have as an adult is the ability to create yr own atmospheres. when we are children, our parents do this for us. they wrap us up in nurseries and warmth for our protection, but when we get older and see the world in all its unsafe honesty, we have to design these atmospheres ourselves. candles, pillows, bottled water, heavily laden bookshelves of poetry and fiction, these are some of the devices that come most readily to my mind.

and familiar, comforting music, of course.


some musings on the passage of time

i realize that in some form or another, this blog has largely been devoted to chronicling the passage of time: noticing the changes demarcating the stages of life, nostalgia, the seasons, the future, the past, memories.

but, if this blog is supposed to be a reflection of my most persistent thoughts, then that seems about right.

Time is an interesting phenomenon to behold, and thus my fascination. such an intangible thing, a deception, but relentless. 15 minutes goes unnoticed, but what about 5 years?

i can lament the sweet brevity of childhood, but feel tormented in the endlessness of a single day at work, fail to understand how short the days are while at the same time, counting down the days until the summer or my next vacation.

does it seem accurate to say a year is 365 days? somehow a year seems so long, but when i think about the days that comprise a year, it seems so swift. and how quickly a month passes! it's already march...

and yet, june can't come quickly enough...

some things you take for granted until you stop to think about them, and that's the trouble with Time. perhaps this is why nostalgia is such a poignant emotion; it is a form of concentrated regret for lost time. it is regret for our readiness for the future, our persistence in pressing onward and forward, regret we feel when we reflect on how far we've come and see the distance and extent of our own removal.

usually, we don't remember Time until we see its signs in the accumulation of little changes: the appearance of first wrinkles (laugh lines around the eyes), childhood clothing no longer being appropriately whimsical for the workplace, high school references no longer being recent enough to be relevant, "child" actors now in their 30s or 40s (sometimes it takes seeing someone else's aging to understand your own).

Saturday, March 07, 2009

sprinkle some salt on that

one lamentable thing about keeping a busy schedule is that when you finally find time for yourself, you don't know how to spend it. suddenly "taking care of yourself" seems like such a chore. i sit in bed trying to read, or in front of my computer, anxiously wondering if i'm "relaxing" enough to prepare for the week ahead. by the time i get the hang of it (relaxing, that is), it's sunday night and full speed ahead to the week again.


another deeply felt regret: the race to beat morning rush hour traffic often precludes dream journaling. which is a damned shame. so many vivid and bizarre subconscious juxtapositions. like this morning's dream: my boyfriend and i were trying to save German/Russian musical theatre by interrupting a board meeting at a post-modern art museum with a co-written performance piece (he was the German, i was the Russian, there were neon green costumes and feathers and gymnastics of an exotic variety. i was flexible and limber!)

later today: shopping for large electronics with company money, grading papers, finding easy foods to eat (apples, popsicles, carrot sticks, blocks of cheese...?), calisthenics in the great outdoors, musings on the passage of time.


Tuesday, March 03, 2009

it is true what they say about karma

today, i took an almost devilish delight in saying "i told you so." and even though i felt slightly shamed at directing such malice towards a child, i have to say that the little effer had it coming.

my student Derek, after months and months of me haranguing him to "get off the banister!", "get in the classroom!", "sit down!" or "control yr anger!" finally got what was coming to him.

today, after trying to derail class for a whole 30 minutes, making rude racist comments and being explicitly rude when i was giving instruction, ran out during his detention and screamed "CHINESE HOOKER!!" while trying to steal my clipboard.

later, Derek comes to get my signature for a change of schedule (deliverance!), and again defied my directions to go directly to his next class, deciding to play in the hallway (on the banister, of course) and fight with another kid, TJ. when i went in the hall to break things up and bring TJ inside, Derek turned to run away, and fell down the stairs.

i can't say i lol'd, but i didn't feel sorry for him either. maybe now he'll learn to finally stay away from the fuckin stairs.

karma: it's a bitch.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

feel better

one of the amusing/ironic/vexing things about my current teaching situation is its tendency towards hyperbole. most ppl wouldn't believe my reality unless they stepped into my classroom and saw it. i wish i could say that the pictures i paint are caricatures, but you would be amazed, awed, to see my students. my university supervisor put it best, i think, when she said, at the end of a long day of observing my class, "the news should be here to film this! this is movie-stuff!"

so, it seems that while i am failing at my original purpose of making the world a better place through teaching, the process of teaching itself has become my way of helping ppl feel better about their own lives and jobs. are you feeling insecure about your job? having a bad day? doubting whether you chose the right line of work? depressed about the turn yr life is taking? having an existential crisis? no worries. talk to me for a few minutes about my job, and you are guaranteed to feel more adequate and happy! 9 out of 10 friends or family members left feeling more satisfied with themselves and more ready to take on the obstacles in their life after a 30 minute conversation with me. 

the 10th person left feeling depressed and distraught, and soon after quit her day job. she was a 7th grade special ed teacher at my school. i can't take responsibility for her decision, but she ended up getting a job as a travel writer and is now, by my estimation, grossly happier. 

happy ending,